IO4 – SENIOR TRANSFER OF KNOWLEDGE: The role of the Mentors

In December, the pilot courses of the SAMANTHA project will start with the aim of testing the validity of the training course that the partners have developed during these two years of activity. The e-learning pilot courses are part of the Intellectual Output 3 and will continue until next June. Further the partners will support a mentorship activity entrusted to experts in the field of AM in order to create open debates and the acquisition of knowledge through direct testimonies.

Intellectual Output 4 is dedicated to identify mentors and putting their expertise into practice for the learners of the course. The IO4 also has an experiential nature and provides that the pilot activities run in line with those of IO3.

But who is the mentor and what does he do? Further, how will his profile and his activities be drawn within the SAMANTHA project? The first activity (O4/A1) foreseen in IO4 is answering these questions. Firstly, the partners developed the Guidelines for Mentor that draw the framework of the mentoring process. The aim of the guidelines is to develop a support system for raising knowledge as regards as the topics related to the AM in the involved sectors (Habitat and Tool Making) and to high-tech T-shaped skills and competences. The guidelines contain the specifications for each unit defined and, they define methods of interaction and supporting tools.

The second activity (O4/A2) foresees the piloting and the transfer of knowledge from seniors to juniors. At the first step the partners interviewed a panel of senior exerts in AM and soft skills in order to define which characteristics the mentors have to be for fitting with the training activities of the pilot courses planned in the SAMANTHA project. Then, on the basis of this theretical profile 16 seniors experts will be selected and involved in the pilot course during non-formal sessions that will take place both face-to-face and during webinars focused on specific topics in order to deepen aspects, trends and perspectives of Additive Manufacturing. The advantages offered by the Additive Manufacturing are many and among these we can point out the wide flexibility with regard to quantity (production from small batches to large) and shape since it makes it possible to develop objects with complex geometries and instant modification according to customer needs. From an environmental point of view, then, AM affects the reduction of raw materials used, the improvement of performance, promotes the use of alternative materials to those in use, modifying the construction structure of the object that is rethought according to 3D printing.

The mentors will make an important and practical contribution to the pilot courses because they could facilitate people who intend to approach the field of Additive Manufacturing and promote not only technical knowledge but also the essential personal, social and entrepreneurial skills.

At the end of the pilot the partners will analyze the activities by involving the learners trough questionnaires about the methodology and results. On the basis of the data collected, the partners elaborate recommendations according the experience in order to improve the course to enhance the results and the possibility of being more effective.